The Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank.


Record 1 2004-11-09


Subject field(s)
  • Space Physics

The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is a part of the Sun's magnetic field that is carried into interplanetary space by the solar wind. The interplanetary mangetic field lines are said to be "frozen in" to the solar wind plasma. Because of the Sun's rotation, the IMF, like the solar wind, travels outward in a spiral pattern that is often compared to the pattern of water sprayed from a rotating lawn sprinkler. The IMF originates in regions on the Sun where the magnetic field is "open" that is, where field lines emerging from one region do not return to a conjugate region but extend virtually indefinitely into space. The direction (polarity, sense) of the field in the Sun's northern hemisphere is opposite to that of the field in the southern hemisphere. (The polarities reverse with each solar cycle).


  • Physique spatiale

Le champ magnétique interplanétaire [comporte un] champ magnétique faible remplissant l'espace interplanétaire, les lignes de ce champ magnétique sont habituellement reliées au Soleil. L'IMF est gardé hors de la majeur partie de la magnétosphère, mais l'interaction des deux jouent un rôle important dans l'écoulement de l'énergie du vent solaire vers l'environnement de la Terre.


Save record 1

Copyright notice for the TERMIUM Plus® data bank

© Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2021
TERMIUM Plus®, the Government of Canada's terminology and linguistic data bank
A product of the Translation Bureau


Language Portal of Canada

Access a collection of Canadian resources on all aspects of English and French, including quizzes.

Writing tools

The Language Portal’s writing tools have a new look! Easy to consult, they give you access to a wealth of information that will help you write better in English and French.

Glossaries and vocabularies

Access Translation Bureau glossaries and vocabularies.

Date Modified: